Sprint-flavored iPad coming sooner rather than later?

A leaked shot, purportedly of Best Buy's retail database, seems to indicate that a Sprint iPad is on the way.

Purported shots of Best Buy's inventory system.
Purported shots of Best Buy's inventory system with Sprint-compatible iPads. Engadget

A new iPad capable of running on Sprint's fledgling 4G network was missing from this week's big refresh event, but if you believe in leaked photos, such a device could be just around the corner.

Engadget posts what it says are shots of Best Buy's inventory system that list a slew of new iPads that run on Sprint's network. At Apple's event on Wednesday, the only 4G-compatible tablets introduced were ones that run on AT&T and Verizon.

But in an Engadget shot, 14 such devices are listed on the screen next to what appears to be various data plans.

A Sprint spokesman reiterated a statement from earlier this week , saying the company was "not a carrier for Apple's iPad products," and that the company had "nothing to announce at this time."

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Sprint is currently in the middle of rolling out its 4G LTE infrastructure, with plans to have the faster wireless technology in 10 cities by the end of June. By comparison, Verizon has its 4G LTE network in 196 cities and 122 major airports, with AT&T coming in at 28 cities. AT&T also counts its HSPA+ network as "4G," a wireless protocol found on Apple's iPhone 4S and many other recent-model smartphones.

Sprint only recently became one of Apple's business partners in the U.S. as one of the select carriers to have Apple's iPhone 4S last October. Previously the iPhone had only been available on AT&T, before landing on Verizon early last year.

CNET's Roger Cheng contributed to this report.

Updated at 7 p.m. with comment from Sprint.

 

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